Israel to press Guterres on Hezbollah arms buildup

Marie Harrington
August 29, 2017

He said those who call for Israel's destruction peddle in a "form of modern anti-Semitism" - though he also said he doesn't always agree with the country's policies.

In his remarks, Rivlin called on Guterres "to work to end the discrimination against Israel" at the United Nations, while also thanking him for "brave leadership" on the issue.

Guterres arrived in Israel Sunday evening for a three-day visit that will include meetings with senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem and Palestinian officials in the West Bank, as well as a stop in the Gaza Strip, where the United Nations runs a major Palestinian aid program. "These actions weaken cooperation between states and are against the rule of law", he said. The U.N. peacekeeping force's mandate is up for renewal at the end of the month and Israel is pressing for the force to have an increased presence to better monitor and prevent what Israel says is Hezbollah building up its weapons.

"We welcome you to Israel", Danon told Guterres.

"Although he sometimes does not agree with Israel's actions, he is still committed to finding ways to seek peace between Israel and the Palestinians", Rivlin said.

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Guterres will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will also hold talks with Hamdallah in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said the country might further cut its annual payments to the United Nations, if the organization does not adjust its approach to the country.

In an op-ed published in Israel Hayom on Sunday, entitled "A plea to the secretary general", Prosor wrote that Guterres' visit to Israel will be his "first test" of leadership at the UN. "It's time to place the issue squarely on the table and address it head-on", Hotovely said, as quoted by The Times of Israel news outlet, adding that Israel will "no longer tolerate anti-Israel bias".

Guterres' visit comes as the Security Council is due to vote on the extension of the UNIFIL mission on 30 January, initially for one year.

UN envoy Nikki Haley and Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on the Lebanese border, June 8, 2017. "The US position has changed".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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